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Breaking Fast Review: It Is An Over-Cute Gay Rom-Com

Breaking Fast

Starring Haaz Sleiman, Michael Cassidy

Directed by Mike Mosallam

Rating: ** ½ 

To be  gay and Muslim in Los Angeles…how much more culturally diasporic can we get?!  Lamentably  Breaking Fast is not half as as funny sassy and cool as the clever  title suggests. Breaking Fast could mean the  Ramzan month when  love blossoms between our Middle Eastern hero Mo(Haz Sleiman) and an Impossibly Handsome American(IHA) man named Jo…MoJo, get it?…no no  I am kidding , the IHA is  named Kal(Michaal Cassidy).

Sparks fly, fireworks illuminate the romantic sky and  all ye romantics out there, just sigh sigh sigh. For me this very popular well-reviewed is way too sugary to  get a pat on its back for its brave  and healthy  look at  the Muslim community. Mo’s family is  a crackling talkative brood  of  fringe liberals.And guess what? He even gets to  joke about ‘hijacking’ . Not a single  character is a terrorist. Unless we  look at  a Mo as an emotional terrorist  . He will have love and what  follows in bed  and off it, entirely on his own terms. He  won’t let the IHA(impossibly  handsome American)  touch him  until Ramzan is  over.

In the meanwhile the sparks  fly. Kal  ticks  off all the boxes in  the brochure of  Perfect Partnership. He  is  kind, generous, patient, funny,attentive…. He cooks for Mo and waits patiently  for him to end his month of  abstinence. The  irreverent humour flies off the writing board ,with  purposely smart lines tumbling furiously off fast-moving lips as though life is nothing  but a  series  of rapidfire rounds.

 Everyone talks  like their dialogues are written for smartness rather than communication. The scenes are so  manufactured in their cuteness they make you cringe . In one notable sequence Mo runs out of the shower in a towel to answer the doorbell, greets Kal and his towel falls off . “Don’t look don’t look,” Mo panics, as Kal wears  the bemused look of a lover who will wait till the  end  the world(why only Ramzan) to….errrr… look.

As  Kal Michael Cassidy is  a supermarket of expressions. This is  the kind of film that needs the actors to SHOW more than feel the  emotions. Haaz Sleiman’s Mo comes across as too self-obsessed to deserve the unconditional love that flows all around him. I found the character way  too taken up with licking its own wounds to see what a  wonderful world he has around him: a loving doting accepting family which has no problems  with his  sexual orientation,and a  ‘Tata’(grandmother) who continues  to  live on his voicemail after her death. 

Goodness, what more does Mo want? The one  with the real problems is his best friend played  by Amil El Gamal.He is gay, he is  confused, he is  without religious belief, and worse of all, his character is just a prop for the hero Mo to  spingboard his  aspirations on. Someone should  make a film about him.

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